chedder | cc by 2.0

After a 5-year hiatus, Congress has restored funding for U.S. inspectors to oversee horse slaughter, opening the door for horses to be killed and butchered in the United States for the first time since 2006.

No one wants to see any horse killed for meat or to turn a fast buck, and PETA has always had concerns about the suspension of US slaughter, since it meant more suffering for these sensitive animals, not less.  What we feared would happen did: Rather than have a change of heart and stop killing horses, greedy ranchers who deal in horse flesh simply jammed their “commodities” into tractor trailers and hauled the frightened animals hundreds of miles to Canada and Mexico – a journey most did not have to face before – to terrifying deaths in slaughterhouses there.

As PETA documented years ago, that ride means horses crammed together with strangers who bite and kick, slippery floors that mean foals and pregnant mares fall and are trampled, and horses who, being taller than cows but often shipped in cattle trucks, must ride the whole way with their heads bent to their chests. That export loophole still needs to be slammed shut. To reduce horses’ suffering, there must be a ban on exports of live horses together with a ban on slaughter in the U.S., or it doesn’t work, never did, never will.

Remember, industries that breed horses for profit—horseracingrodeo and the carriage trade—are largely to blame for this crisis since they have created the tragic overpopulation of horses.